For lovers, haters, and everyone in-between, French designer Rachel Plefger's clever tee takes the idea of an ambigram—a word that can be read from a variety of angles—one step further. Available so that it reads either "Love" or "Hate," the mirror image reads opposite. Starts at $22 from Made in Design. via Neatorama For tattoo ambigrams see the recent piece on Needled. Also on Cool Hunting: John Langdon
An offline component to the world's largest photo blogging community, Fotolog.book is 1,000 of the millions of digital images posted to Fotolog in its four year history. Edited by former New Yorker photography critic Andrew Long, the hard bound anthology ranges widely in tone, subject, and style—from artsy black and white compositions to spontaneous quotidian moments—but the photos all share a unique straight-ahead point of view and comments left by users function as off-the-cuff captions. Sections include more straightforward themes like "Domestica", esoteric concepts such as "Dialog", and photographer-specific chapters. The opening series titled, "New York, New York", includes an uncredited Laurie Anderson quote that may describe the book and the digital photography phenomenon (and perhaps the entire modern era) most eloquently: "This is the time, and this is the record of the time." $35 from Amazon
Now skate girls have a fashion option beyond saggy-pants tomboy with the debut of Olive Oil, Olive Skateboards' line of skateboards and skate gear combining sports function with femininity. Clothing for the line, as well as some board graphics, designed by Calgary-based clothing designer Lacy Barry, come in a subdued palate of crèmes, beiges, and warm grays splashed with hot pink. Hoodies, sweaters, dresses, and skirts are made for quick movement and the simple stitching celebrates the competitive, kinetic female physique. Contributed by Kristopher Irizarry
As the 20th anniversary of Warhol's death approaches, the king of pop art is being honored with a spectacular king sized visual biography. Taking inspiration from Warhol's over the top nature, Andy Warhol "Giant" Size depicts the major events, people, and works in the artist's life with a chronological examination of formerly private photographs, letters, film stills, notes, celebrity head shots and even ticket stubs. The book also includes a picture of Warhol's birth certificate and the magazine tear sheet showing the first article he illustrated for Glamour when he arrived in NYC in 1949. Weighing in at 15 pounds and packed with more than 2,000 images on 624 pages, Andy Warhol "Giant" Size is a perfect center piece for any sturdy coffee table—or could even function as the table itself. Available from Phaidon Press in April. Available for pre-order at Amazon for $79.00.
Based in Sydney, The Useful Chick Stuff Company makes products "for when the gods of fashion decide that today is not going to be your day." The Miss A kit is basically a pink Swiss Army Knife optimized for the girl on the go—it has a flashlight, keychain, needle and thread, safety pin, corkscrew, mirror, tweezers, perfume bottle, bottle opener, screwdriver, scissors, ruler, nail file, pill box and even a knife. $19.95 from The Useful Chick Stuff Company via ThreeThousand Ed. note: I know I'm a bit out of school writing about girl stuff, but I figured I'd give this one a go.
It's finally starting to feel like Spring is here—time to start thinking about sun, fun and of course T-shirts. One of our favs from last year, Star Electric Eighty Eight, just sent us pics of their latest collaboration. Called Pursuit of Happiness the designs were made by Harlem, New York based Jennifer Garcia and her ex-husband Anton Lopez. Drawing from both obvious and more obscure influences, the new line explores both "synthetic happiness and real bliss." Irony is often explicit, like in this one called I'm So Happy, which story book, candy land like scene made up of pills (click to zoom). Pursuit of Happiness will be available here in New York at Zakka and also online at SEEE.US. Jennifer talks about the process of making the line, which is pictured, after the jump. We wanted to create something really fun. Like 6 year old birthday party fun, or getting an award fun. Something really light hearted and cheesey. It was supossed to be about enjoyment no matter what. You got 2nd place in your gymnastics meet? Well, that aint too bad! But then the idea got a bit wider… As we worked, the shirts became about trying to achieve light heartnedness, but maybe not being able to fully. They became sort of sarcastic. Which is great, because that reflects our personalities pretty well. On "I'm So Happy I Could Die" it's this picture perfect scenario, but on closer inspection it's made up of all these different kinds of medications and pills. I was thinking about my mother when we made that one. She gets migraine headaches from stress and then takes pills for stress and more pills for migraines and they make her hands shake but she rather deal with shakey hands than deal with what's causing her stress. I guess a lot of people have that mentality… I do too sometimes. Anway, as far as doing what we set out to do, the subject of pursuing happiness is so large I think I could go on and on. Maybe there will be another collection. Or a book.Jennifer Garcia, Star Electric Eighty Eight
I heart stripes. A surprisingly large part of my wardrobe is striped. I especially love striped socks. Saturday night I was at a party and I was talking to this art boy, who had the best green and blue striped socks on. Admittedly, I am pretty bold, so I told him that I liked his socks. Imagine my pleasure and surprise when he told me that he had designed them himself. If I recall correctly (it was rather late…) he was frustrated at the lack of good socks in the world, so he started to make his own. His DJ name is J. Stroke, and the socks are called Stroke's Striped Socks. Sunday, I went on the internet and ordered three pairs. It was pretty hard to chose as all the socks are brightly colored and fun. I got a pair called "Tickle Me," in pinks, "Super Sunset," with oranges and reds, and "Manufacturer's Mishap" in more pinks. They came in the mail yesterday and I am already wearing the "mishaps." I think they could be my faves.
With an increase in "essential" kitchen gadgets fighting for limited storage space and the anything that can be silicone, will be silicone mantra of designers, consumers are benefitting from an overwhelming variety of new products. These handy measuring cups collapse down to a fraction of their height and can handle boiling liquids. Likewise, the colander and funnel, with their camera-inspired designs, are a huge improvement from their metal cousins at the outdoor store, and prove that sometimes you can (and should) reinvent the wheel. Set of four measuring cups, $19.95 from Solutions. Funnel and colander, designed by Boje Estermann and inhouse designers at Normann Copenhagen.
More than 10 billion pb+j sandwiches are eaten in the U.S. each yearâ€”most with tired, processed, additive-laced peanut butter and sickly sweet jam on processed additive-laced white bread. Now you can spice up your pantry (and that pb+j sandwich) with one of the concoctions from P.B.Loco, makers of peanut butter with a twistâ€”of curry (our favorite), cinammon and raisins, bananas, and dark chocolate among others. While kids may enjoy some of the flavors, they are geared a bit more to the adult palette. There are added ingredients (sugar, molasses, vegetable oils) but there aren't many, and all are natural and easily pronounced. P.B.Loco's peanut butters further solidify the trend of marrying spices and other fusion ingredients to established products (chocolates come to mind). Many of these would also be good as a quick sauce or ice cream topping. P.B.Loco has several cafÃ©s in the midwest and a recently opened New Jersey location. Available online or at a store/cafÃ© near you, for $5.95-$6.95. Also on CH, (still) the best conserves we know of.
Orikaso Products of Sheffield, England makes this practical (and affordable at Â£10) folding picnic set. It's made of thin, foldable plastic pieces that weigh virtually nothing. When it's time to get the dishes assembled, you unfold them and voila! a liquid-tight bowl, cup suitable for hot liquids, a small platter, even a cutting board. Perfect for a trip to the neighborhood park or 10 days backpacking in the woods.
Veuve Clicquot's new Tw'ice bucket twists 180Âº to either sit on top of a table or attach to the table top's side. This clever design is made from polycarbonate, aluminum and rubber and was designed in-house. Though created for its restaurant customers, you can buy one online for $100 at Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin or in the U.K. for Â£39 at Malmaison.
At the risk of getting flak for yet another skull-related item, these little stick-on mirrors are a ingenious example of a device that's as elegant as it is useful. Plus, there's the inherent irony of a skull- or heart-shaped reflection. (Other options like lightning bolts, four-leaf clovers, and stars, have all had their day as trends too, but aren't quite as subtly clever.) $12 from Mobile Beauty and $1 from every purchase goes to the Step Up Women's Network.
The latest from the Los-Angeles-based label I Heart Guts (covered over in Spear-land earlier this month) is "Don't Lose Your Lunch" (baby style pictured). Like the rest of the I Heart Guts line (the brainchild of a designer/former teacher with a penchant for Japanese pop art), this tee anthropomorphizes organs and pairs them with puns in both English and Japanese. The upshot is a collection of bizarre, giggle-inducing designs. Available in gray for adults, the stomach themed shirts (as well as all I Heart Guts tees) are printed exclusively on American Apparel, and start at $18.
Rothco has been hooking up military and civilian customers with their camouflage gear since the 1950s. We're fans of their classic sneakers, and find their camo flask appropriately discreet for outdoor sippin'. The camo socks are another favorite. A camo flask and a pair of hi-tops (men's size 8 only) will be given to the first CH reader who sends us the correct answer to this question: Andy Warhol painted many camouflage portraits, all of which were commissioned except for self-portraits and those of which person? Send your guesses to us here, and mention camo flask or camo sneakers in the subject. Update: Thanks to all of the CH readers who wrote in. The correct answer according to DPM, our trustworthy guide to all things camo, is Warhol's friend and fellow artist Joseph Beuys. Rothko products are available from these online retailers.
The ladies at sajedesign have designed this great pendant necklace that features a custom etching from your favorite photo. It's available in gold or silver and in round or rectangular styles. Prices start at $150. Available exclusively at Liz Lange. Download an order form here.
New York-based tee-shirt maker I-Manifest has a new line out for spring, including "create sound," with a neo-19th Century design, a collaboration with the Santa Cruz, CA electronica group Sound Tribe Sector 9. (Pictured.) Other designs include "wood type" that uses a font based on woodgrain and available in nine different colorways, as well as "day after," which features trees-and-castle vector art. All of the limited-run tees are printed on coveted softer-than-soft tees. Starting at $28 from I-Manifest.